Taking advantage of a stay in Istanbul, I got interested in local graphic design... Obviously, I stuffed myself with multi-millennial mosques, oriental palaces and spicy scents, but I'll save the "tourist slideshow" session for my in-laws. As for graphic design, I was initially disappointed. The public space is full of totally anarchic advertising images, but there's nothing really local about them. And as the Turkish alphabet is a derivative of the Latin alphabet, it's not exactly a change of scenery... ( By the way, this alphabet has an amazing history that I'll try to tell you about soon. )
In short, apart from a few surprising pictograms, a few typographic signs and a Turkish "DSK" double, there was nothing to satisfy my curiosity.
Fortunately, as I turned down an alleyway, I came across the "Istanbul Design Center". It's a school of applied art, a venue for exhibitions, workshops and conferences, a publishing house... in short, just what I was looking for!
A few posters have piqued my curiosity!
Unfortunately, I had to drop in outside opening hours... not a single student, just a calligraphy teacher who suggested I drop in again the following week... sniff... So, back in France, I find out more about this place and discover an amazing communication made by the founder of this place: Faruk Akın ( with a "ı" without a dot ! like in our Graphéıne logo! :-) )
The center's various activities are soberly organized around the lunar crescent (found at the top of every mosque). I will try to retrace the history of this crescent moon, the universal symbol of Islam, born on the banks of the Bosphorus when Istanbul was still called Byzantium!
So, here are the center's posters... still by Faruk Akın! I think, as the center's founder, he's enjoying himself! In a minimalist and colorful spirit, his work revisits local symbols...
On his website, you can find some thirty other posters! Including a few political images...
And finally, the Art Islamic section, simply magnificent! A contemporary interpretation of the age-old calligraphic tradition! Exactly what my eye was looking for!